Giving Compass' Take:

• Diane Mapes explains how the stigma around palliative care prevents cancer patients from getting the best available care. 

• How can funders work to decrease stigma and increase access to palliative care? What palliative care is available in your community? 

• Learn how facts can help to remove stigma

Palliative care may even be the most misunderstood phrase in cancer care. Half of patients don’t know what it is; the other half think it means they’re dying and anyone who mentions it has given up on them.

Sometimes referred to as comfort or supportive care, palliative care can definitely ease suffering in late-stage cancer patients entering hospice or approaching end of life. But it’s also a powerful tool for patients dealing with pain or treatment side effects anywhere along the cancer continuum, from early stagers grappling with chemo-induced nausea to metastatic patients learning to live with headaches, neuropathy and constant bone pain from their ongoing therapy.

And research shows palliative care can do much more: it can cut back on emergency room visits; curb anxiety and depression; improve the ability to cope with disease for both patients and caregivers, and even help those who are in treatment to live longer.

Read the full article about palliative care by Diane Mapes at Fred Hutch.